If you have recently suffered trauma to your shoulder or even your arm then it is highly likely that your shoulder pain is a result of this. You are not alone, it is estimated that 1 in 5 Australians over 45 have chronic pain of some sort.
However, if there is no obvious reason for the development of your shoulder pain then you will need to see a doctor and possibly a specialist to identify the issue and help you to treat it successfully.
Understanding The Shoulder Joint
The shoulder joint is actually several joints, the most obvious are the joints between the shoulder and arm and the shoulder and neck. These joints are used daily and allow you to do a variety of things, including scratching your back or throwing a ball.
That’s why issues with shoulder joints can seriously affect life quality as they may limit your ability to do certain things.
Potentially the most common issue is shoulder arthritis. But, most shoulder problems fall into one of these categories:
Inflammation is often the result of over-exertion or twisting your shoulder in a strange direction. This can lead to the small fluid-filled sacs, known as bursae, swelling and causing pain when you move the shoulder.
Equally, you may have sprained or even torn one of the tendons in your shoulder. This can be very painful although it should heal by itself in time.
Instability is when the joint is separated partially or fully. It is generally caused by a sudden incident, such as a sports injury or car accident. Unfortunately, dislocating this joint does increase the likelihood of it happening again and you developing further issues.
A fracture is effectively a broken bone and it is usually the result of a trauma. In younger people, this is likely to be due to a sports accident or similar. In older people, this is often due to a fall.
Fractures will heal but the swelling and bruising will cause a significant amount of pain
There are a variety of types of arthritis. It is effectively a result of wear and tear on the joint. Having any of the above issues when you are younger will increase the likelihood of arthritis as you age.
It occurs because the cartilage between joints has been worn away, causing the bone to grind against itself. This creates pain and swelling which add to the pain. In many cases, people try to stop using the joint to lessen the pain. However, this leads to an array of mobility issues.
Dealing With The Pain
You will need a specialist to look at your shoulder to diagnose the exact cause. They can then prescribe exercises and medication to help you handle the pain. In most cases, this can be enough to relieve pain and restore movement.
However, in extreme cases, surgery is often an option, including replacing the shoulder joint. In other words, seeing a specialist can help to ensure you retain mobility and quality of life.